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The functional communication scale for patients with neurodegenerative disease: development and validation of a French test evaluating residual communication skills.

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

Geriatr Psychol Neuropsychiatr Vieil (2018)

Abstract:

Verbal and nonverbal communication impairments are often observed in the context of neurodegenerative diseases. Identifying the most appropriate communication strategies for each patient, by a better understanding of his communicational difficulties, would help to maintain his autonomy and to improve his quality of life.

OBJECTIVE: To propose a rapid and ecological tool specifically adapted for people with cognitive disorders in advanced stages of the diseases.

METHODS: Two major steps were necessary, the development of the tool itself (A) and the evaluation of some of its psychometric properties (B). The first step (A) allowed the development of a tool aimed at the observation of communication skills during a situation of natural interaction and the analysis of communication according to various activities (production, recognition and comprehension of oral language acts, written and gestural, as well as figures, in different degrees of complexity). The second step (B) consisted to measure the validity of the content and the criterion of the test, as well as its fidelity between judges. The final version of the tool is composed of two grids, an examiner's guide and a patient's test sheet. The use of the tool has been standardized.

RESULTS: At the end of the validation process, psychometric properties demonstrated good content validity and good criterion validity for the scale. Fidelity was subsequently measured and also judged to be good. After that, a pre-test with patients with neurodegenerative diseases has been carried out.

CONCLUSION: This tool should address a significant clinical need to enable clinicians to rapidly describe communication skills in a patient with neurodegenerative disease and to recommend communication strategies for formal and informal caregivers.

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